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Sewing book review: Pattern Magic 3 - now in English!

12 June 2012, 13:05

I don’t buy sewing books very often these days, usually preferring to get my information and inspiration from the internet and sewing pattern magazines, but I’ve found so much inspiration from the Japanese design schools lately that I just can’t say no when these are translated into English.

If you recall, I reviewed the first two Pattern Magic books here, and then, just recently the first Drape Drape book was also released in English (with the second coming out later this year).

Drape Drape uses included patterns which you trace off and sew, but the Pattern Magic books all rely on instructions for altering your existing sloper, so they can work for pretty much any size or shape person.

The big difference in this third book is that all the patterns here are designed for stretch fabrics, which adds a whole new level of fun! But of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use stretch fabrics for the designs in the first two books – I’ve already made the flip-turned top twice as teeshirts, though I did have a great boost in understanding the Pattern Magic instructions on the Morley College “Pattern Magic” course I took earlier this year (I’m eagerly awaiting the new course guide so I can sign up for the rumoured class on this new book next year!).

EDIT: Stop presses! Morley College have posted their courses for next year, and they’re offering courses on each of the Pattern Magic books again!!

So enough intro, let’s have a look at some of the wonderful (and weird!) designs in this instalment!

The first design that caught my eye is this “Pea in a Pod A” – I just love all the gathers as you see it on the model, and I was shocked to see how easy the pattern looks on paper! It’s just two identical shirt shapes, one too large, and one to small, so the seams wrap around to the smaller side! So clever!

The shoulders on this “Sharp and Snappy D” top remind me a lot of the shoulder variations seen at the Maison Martin Margiela exhibit a few years ago. You’d have to choose your fabric very carefully for this to get one with enough body to hold the point. Maybe a sweatshirting would do well here, and be a fun echo of the shoulder pads worn by American footballers?

There are a few “Roots” designs, which are variations on a theme, but I like A and B best.

OK, I just could not stop laughing at this one! It’s supposed to be a top with an integrated hood, but all I could see was The Great Cornolio! “I need TP for my bunghole!” (That’s Beavis & Butthead reference for anyone who wasn’t a teenager in the 1990s…)

And finally, I just love the simplicity of these “Apple Peel B” leggings (“Apple Peel A” is a shrug). Better yet, if you’ve already got a leggings pattern that fits you, there’s no real drafting required, either! Just slash and spread the outer leg seam to create pleats the whole way down…

Unlike the previous Pattern Magic books, this one includes the fixed-size, full slopers in fold-out patterns sheets at the back of the book, so if you’d rather work from a standard (tiny Japanese) size, then you can just trace one off.

Any guesses which design I’ve already started on? Ok, I’ll give you a (really obvious) clue!

Pattern Magic 3 (English version) is out now and available to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US. My review copy was a birthday gift, and not a promotional copy, just sayin’.

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  1. I can’t wait to see if Morley are doing a class on this book too. I nearly picked up the book yesterday but I am still in the middle of moving and so adding extra packing is just too silly at the moment. But come Friday all bets are off and this book will be mine! [I want to add a maniacal laugh here so please use your imagination]

    Tracy    Jun 12, 01:31 PM    #
  2. Heehee yea I reviewed this for this month’s giveaway it was funny enough on it’s own but interesting to see you B&B take on things. We seem to have liked some of the same things (and laughed at similar things too) can’t wait to see your modified leggings. BTW any chance of installing disqus so I don’t have to deal with the blindness inducing hideousness that is recaptcha, everytime I want to comment? Disqus handles spam blocking (with Akismet, the same algorithm that’s built into Wordpress) and enables cross platform commenting while keeping tabs on comments, responses, pings and trackbacks. This means people from wordpress, typepad, livejournal, overblog etc will be able to keep track of responses as well. Pretty please.

    theperfectnose    Jun 12, 01:37 PM    #
  3. I love that Pea in a Pod. It has everything I adored in the Gather dress that just didn’t work out…

    K-Line    Jun 12, 01:53 PM    #
  4. wow! what unique designs. I just bought Drape Drape and was truly amazed at the wealth of information it had. Plus, the book came with patterns. Awesome! Can’t wait to get my hands on this guy!

    maddie    Jun 12, 05:55 PM    #
  5. Are the slopers drafted with ease or in the case of these with stretch fabrics with negative ease?

    Nancy K    Jun 12, 08:06 PM    #
  6. Just a quick note to tell you that stem cell transplant went well yesterday. Now I need patience to wait out the rest of the treatment!

    — Jackie Ries    Jun 13, 03:16 AM    #
  7. So cool! I must buy this book…

    lauriana    Jun 13, 06:26 AM    #
  8. Thanks for the link to Morley College Melissa. I will book my place now! I wonder if you could run in those leggings?
    P.S. NO way those tiny Japanese slopers would fit me!

    Kim Hood    Jun 14, 12:06 PM    #
  9. Hi all
    Massive end of roll fabric sale ends on 18/7/12, at 129 Sheen Lane, East Sheen, SW14 8AE. Nearest station Mortlake then a few hundred yards up the road. Good quality fabrics, inc. silk, velvet, etc., etc., from 50p a metre due to a move on 19th July.

    — lesley    Jul 14, 11:50 AM    #

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